Puerto Chico Plaza & Market

García-Germán Arquitectos

Design: García-Germám Arquitectos.
Design team: Jacobo García-Germán, Manuel del Río, Marta García, Laura Carrero, Miguel López, Raquel Díaz de la Campa, Martha Sosa Dias, Lidia de Lucas, Jaime González, Lucía Vallés.
Location: Puerto Chico Plaza & Market, Santander, Spain.
Client: Excelentísimo Ayuntamiento de Santander.
Constructor: Teginser SL –Grupo Perteo.
Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán | Imagen Subliminal.

The plaza, a former elevated leftover space on top of Puertochico Market that was segregated from city life until now, is reconnected to the neighborhood through the construction of a broad flight of steps that also act as an urban grandstand, facing the afternoon sun and the busy street life. This provides easy access and allows for renewed use of the elevated plaza, with a children’s playground, extensive flowerbeds and long perimeter benches.

The new intervention deliberately reduces the range of gestures and materials in an aim to introduce an abstract and homogeneous counterpoint to a discordant urban environment, resolving all perimeter benches and plantings with a single detail and the entire paving surface with a single floor piece. The new all-embracing carpet-like paving produces a certain volumetric Op-Art effect, de-contextualizing the preexisting cultural centre in the middle of the plaza making it appear to hover over this carpet, which itself floats over the street. The paving is made of EcoGranic® prefab coloured concrete pieces which filter NOx and perform as active de-contaminants.

Initial State

Benches under Construction

The planters contain aromatic and Atlantic species and little maintenance is required. They are organized in parallel bands producing colour fringes and a selective blockage of immediate views from within the plaza.

Pavement Detail

Plan

Elevations

Diagrams

Axonometric View

The project is the first phase of a global redevelopment of the existing market below, which will be updated and completed with outdoor restaurants, gastro-stands and a new image in a strategic location that is also close to the city centre, the seafront and tourist enclaves.